Jules Thin Crust Pizza Opens In Cherry Hill, NJ

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Just when you thought all was lost in the world of gluten free pizza crusts, out of nowhere appears Jules Thin Crust Pizza! Who are these people you ask? Well, it’s like this…

I was driving through the Ellisburg Circle Shopping center (Cherry Hill, NJ), where the new Whole Foods Market is located, and I noticed the new sign. I had to stop to ask the question… “Do you serve gluten free pizza?”. Lisa and I are always seeking out new (and safe!) places to take Giulia and Ava for an occasional meal out. As many of you will agree, not all places that advertise a gluten free menu are knocking our socks off, nor do they really understand the whole cross contamination thing. My timing was impeccable, for this was their Grand Opening day!

cherry_hill_opening_newsI walked in and was greeted by a very pleasant group of employees. The restaurant was very inviting and the front counter was loaded with options! The place smelled awesome! I introduced myself and asked the question… “do you have a gluten free menu?”. Inside my head, I had already answered with what I thought was the inevitable. But I was pleasantly surprised! The gentlemen behind the counter began to explain to me what was available, and that they could prepare vegan pizzas as well! Then I asked the followup “cross-contamination” question which was promptly answered with a clear and concise description of how the gluten free pizza is prepared here. Without prompting, I was then referred to the manager on duty to further discuss the process in detail. I was shocked at the level of understanding here! They are educated and able to meet the needs of folks with celiac disease or gluten intolerance!

“Gluten Intolerant? Vegan? Vegetarian? We have your back. Just look at our menus for all the different toppings we offer on 3 types of organic crusts (including our special gluten-free crust). JULES thin crust is much lower in fat than a conventional pizza. Good for every body and good for the environment. A win win!”

Let me share what I learned: First and foremost… there’s a dedicated prep area including a separate conveyer oven just for gluten free pizzas! Second, the dough is made from buckwheat and is hand rolled at the time of each order! Last, but not least, ALL of the available toppings are gluten free, must be organic, and locally sustainable!

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I had the pleasure of speaking with John Ordway, Co-Owner and “Chief Tasting Officer” of Jules Thin Crust Inc. with his wife Jan, and you can feel his passion for this product resonate through every word. The idea for his restaurants came from something that Lisa and I, and I’m sure many of you as well, share as parents: the desire to find a safe and healthy place to eat with your children. That’s a unique undertaking for those with food restrictions like us. So the fact that the Ordway’s had the foresight to include gluten free options on their menu, with no family history of Celiac disease or a medically diagnosed need to eat a gluten free diet to influence their decision, speaks volumes to their desire to provide healthy eating options in a fast food setting.

It took 8 years to develop their gluten free crust, relying on family friends who have Celiac disease to give the final verdict. Buckwheat was the answer! Locally sourced in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, they get their supplies from a bakery called The Grain Exchange (the California restaurants are using a brown rice based recipe for their crusts). Buckwheat, which is not a grain at all, contains all of the 8 essential amino acids, is high in lysine, rich in Vitamin B, as well as magnesium, zinc, and copper. It may also lower glucose levels and lower blood pressure and reduces cholesterol.

The end result is a product that needs promoting. This is the first “gluten free” pizza we’ve had that wasn’t (A:) made on a frozen crust, (B:) crumbled when you picked it up, or (C:) tasted like cardboard! It is delicious! It acts like pizza dough so you can fold it in half, it doesn’t stick to your teeth, and it reheats incredibly well! Many of our followers know that we rely heavily on our daughter Giulia’s opinion when it comes to rating gluten free food. Never have we seen a critique from her like this. When I asked what she thought after her first bite, she looked over with wide eyes and said (pizza still in mouth) “my God…” followed by two thumbs up. Then silence… until she finished eating.

 

Superbowl Weekend! Here’s Our Top Picks For Gluten Free Beer

628x471Whats a party without a ice cold beer? Probably one of the biggest transitions people with Celiac disease have is finding a gluten free beer that’s even remotely close to what they used to drink before being diagnosed. Well, guess what!?! stone-delicious-ipaThe brewing industry is catching on and they are producing some really good stuff! Here’s our top picks for gluten free and crafted to remove gluten offerings for your Super Bowl party. It should be noted that while “crafted to remove gluten” beers may be safe to consume if you are gluten intolerant, those diagnosed with Celiac disease should exercise caution when consuming anything other that certified gluten free alcoholic beverages.

Enjoy! Please drink responsibly.

Gluten Free

  1. Glutenberg India Pale Ale (IPA)
  2. Glutenberg American Pale Ale
  3. Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Tweason’ale
  4. Lakefront Brewery New Grist Pilsner

Crafted to Remove (Reduce) Gluten

  1. Stone Brewery Co. Delicious IPA
  2. Omission India Pale Ale
  3. Omission Pale Ale
  4. Daura Damm Lager

 

Gluten Free Stash – revisited! Pack gluten free snacks when traveling!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! From our gluten free family to yours, we want to wish you a happy and safe holiday with your family and friends!

Turnpike pile upIt’s the busiest travel day of the year! The holidays are upon us… and so is another winter storm! Unbelievable, right? Thousands of people will be traveling in this mess along the East Coast today. Whether you’re flying or driving, you can expect delays. But are you prepared? I mean really prepared?

Back in February of this year we did a blog post about being prepared with a “GF Go Bag” when traveling. We did this to get people thinking about what they would do if they were stuck in traffic, at an airport, a train station… anywhere where there is a limited (or even non existent!) availability of gluten free food. We wanted to revisit this story as a reminder to all to plan ahead. Expect the unexpected and remember to pack a few gluten free snacks, something to drink, etc. so that if you do find yourself in this situation you’ll be OK.

How do you prepare for gluten free travel? Leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

2014 Gluten Free Candy List! Be prepared for Halloween!

It’s almost Halloween! This is probably the most overwhelming time of year for the parents of kids who are newly diagnosed with Celiac disease. Well, at least it was for us! But, thanks to our wonderful gluten free community, we’re able to share with you an updated list of gluten free treats to help decipher what’s safe and what’s NOT ok to eat. We felt this information was too important and wanted to share it, so we compiled this list from several gluten free Halloween-Pumpkin-Wallpaper-02advocate sources, including Celiaccentral.org, Surefoodsliving.com, glutenfreenourishme.com, and glutenaway.blogspot.com. We want to thank them for being advocates for Celiac awareness! Please check them out!

We hope you find this to be helpful. FYI, gluten free labeling changes often based on product ingredients and supplier availability. What was once labeled or thought to be gluten free, may in fact no longer be safe. The point is, be vigilant. Educate yourself. This list may be helpful to you in a pinch, but it should not diminish the need to research things and verify them yourself. Most food manufacturers have a customer service phone number listed on their packaging or on their website. Call and ask the questions. That’s what it’s there for. I have never had a bad experience calling for information. I may not always get the answer I wanted, but I’ve never been brushed off either!

Happy Halloween! Stay safe and enjoy the fun and excitement! Here’s the list:

  • 3 Musketeers fun sizeHalloween-Candy 1
    3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate
  • A
  • -Act II Popcorn Balls
    -Albert’s Gummy Eyeballs
    -Albert’s Iced Halloween pops – Alien Pop, Baseball Pop, Basketball Pop, Boo Pop, Carousel Pop, ColorBlaster Pop, Football Pop, Happy Heart Pop, Hoppin’ Pop, Lickin’ Lips Pop, Lolliday Pop, Lollinotes, Pop-A-Bear, Soccer Pop, Alien Glow Pop, Buggin’ Glow Pop, Burstin Bits, and
    -Almond Joy
    -Altoids (except for Altoids Smalls Peppermint)
    -Amanda’s Own Confections Chocolate shapes and chocolate lollipops
    -Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit snacks
    -Applehead, Grapehead, Cherryhead
  • B
  • -Baby Ruth original and fun size
    -Barrels of Candy
    -Bazooka Big Mix (includes bubble gum, bubble gum filled candy, candy chews, and bubble gum filled lollipops)
    -Bazooka Ring Pops
    -Bazooka Push Pops
    -Bazooka Baby Bottle Pops
    -Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot Wicked Webs Berry Wave mini feet
    -Betty Crocker Halloween fruit flavored snacks, including Fruit Gushers, Fruit Roll–ups, and Mini Rolls
    -Bit O Honey
    -Big Blow Bubblegum
    -Black Forest Gummy Tarantulas
    -Black Forest Gummy Fun Bugs Juicy Oozers
    -Bubbly lollipop and gum
    -Butterfinger bar, original and fun size
  • C
  • -Cadbury Adams Swedish Fish
    -Cadbury Adams Sour Patch Kids and Sour Patch Extreme
    -Candy Checkers, Target Brand
    -Caramel Apple Pops (made by Tootsie Roll)
    -Charleston Chew original and fun size
    -Charms Blow Pops and Blow Pop Minis – may contain milk or soy
    -Charms Candy Carnival Package – Blow Pops, Sugar Babies, Zip a Dee mini pops, Sugar -Daddy, Pops, Sugar Mama Caramel, Tear Jerkers sour bubble gum, Blow Pop Bubble – may contain milk or soy
    -Charms Fluffy Stuff Spider Web cotton candy
    -Chewy Atomic Fireballs
    -Chewy Lemonheads and Friends
    -Chupa Chups Fruit Lollipops
    -Circus Peanuts by Spangler
    -Clark Bars
    -Colombina Scary Eyeballs bubblegum
    -Colombina Fizzy Pops
    -Comix Mix Candy Sticks – Tom and Jerry, Flintstones, Scooby
    -Doo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Popeye
    -Cracker Jack caramel coated popcorn and peanuts
    -Crispy Cat Mint Coconut Candy Bar
    -Crispy Cat Toasted Almond Candy Bar
    -Crispy Cat Chocolate Marshmallow Candy Bar
  • D
  • -Disney Halloween Candy Mix – jelly beans, gummies, candy bracelets and characters from Cars, Tinkerbell and Toy Story
    -Dots Gumdrops – including Candy Corn Dots, Ghost Dots, and Bat Dots
    -Dove pieces – Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate, Caramel, milk Chocolate
    -Dubble Bubble bubblegum
    -Dum Dum Chewy Pops
    -Dum Dum Lollipops (including Shrek Pops)
  • F
  • -Farley’s Kiddie Mix – Smarties, SweetTarts, Now and Later, Jaw Breakers, Super Bubble and Lolli-pops
    -Ferrara Pan Caramels
    -Ferrara Pan Lemonhead & Friends candy mix – including Applehead, Cherryhead, Grapehead, Chewy Lemonhead & Friends, Chewy Atomic Fireball, and Red Hots
    -Florida’s Natural Healthy Treats Nuggets, Sour String, Fruit Stiks
    -Fright Fingers Popcorn Kit
    -Frankford’s Bugs Gummy Candy
    -Frankford’s Gummy Body Parts
    -Frankford’s Marshmallow Pals
    -Fun Dip
    -Fun Dip Sour
  • G
  • -Game Night boxes of candy game pieces (includes Operation, Sorry!, Monopoly, Life, and Clue)
    -Goldenberg’s peanut chews
    -Goobers
    -Grave Gummies (Yummy Gummies)
    -Gummy Brush Paint Shop
    -Gummy Pirate Choppers
  • H
  • -Haribo Gold-Bears
    -Heath milk chocolate English toffee bar and snack size – contains almonds
    -Hershey’s Bliss (Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Milk Chocolate with –Meltaway Center, White Chocolate with Meltaway Center, Milk Chocolate with Raspberry Meltaway Center, Dark Chocolate)
    -Hershey’s Kisses (Candy Corn flavored candy, Caramel, Caramel Apple flavored filling, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Meltaway, Pumpkin Spice, Hugs, Hugs & Kisses, Cherry Cordial Creme, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Special Dark)
    -Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars and snack-size bars
    -Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds snack-size bars
    -Hershey’s Nuggets (Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Almonds, Special Dark, Special Dark with Almonds)
    -Hot Tamales
    -Hot Tamales Spray
    -Hubba Bubba Gum
    -Humphrey Popcorn Balls
  • I
  • -Ice Cream Dipper (Blue Raspberry, Strawberry)
  • J
  • -Jelly Belly beans – gluten–free, dairy–free
    -Jolly Rancher hard candy and Doubles Candy
    -Jolly Rancher Hard Candy Stix, Lollipops and Fruit Chews
    -Jr. Mints fun size – may contain eggs
    -Just Born Jelly Beans
    -Just Born marshmallow treats
  • K
  • -Kellogg’s Spongebob Squarepants fruit flavored snacks
    -Kraft Caramels
    -Kraft Jet–Puffed Boo Mallows and Ghost Mallows
    -Kraft Swedish Fish
    -Kraft Sour Patch Kids and Sour Patch Extreme
  • L
  • -Laffy Taffy Plain, Stretchy & Tangy and Rope
    -Lemonheads
    -Lifesavers
    -LifeSavers Gummies including Big Ring Gummies, Sweet ‘n’ Sour, and Scary Assortment
    -Lollipop Paint Shop
  • M
  • -M&M’s – original, peanut, peanut butter
    -Mars M&M’s – except pretzel M&M’s
    -Mars Dove chocolate products
    -Mars Munch Nut bar
    -Mars Snickers, Snickers Dark bars, fun size and mini’s – may contain almonds
    -Mary Janes
    -Mallo Cup
    -Marvel Heroes Candy Sticks (Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine)
    -Mega Warheads
    -Melster Peanut Butter Kisses
    -Milk Duds
    -Mike and Ike
    -Mike and Ike Spray
    -Mini Mentos
    -Mini Sour Dudes Straws
    -Monstaz Pops (jack–o–lantern lollipops)
    -Monster Hunt plastic monster eggs filled with candy bones, skulls and pumpkins (made for Target)
    -Mounds
    -Mounds dark chocolate fun size bars
    -Mr. Goodbar
  • N
  • -Necco’s Sky Bar 4 in 1 chocolate bar
    -Necco Wafers
    -Necco Mary Janes
    -Necco Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses – does contain peanuts
    -Necco Sweethearts Conversation Hearts (available for Valentine’s Day only)
    -Necco Canada Mint & Wintergreen Lozenges
    -Necco Haviland Thin Mints and Candy Stix
    -Necco Clark Bars
    -Necco Skybars
    -Necco Haviland Peppermint & Wintergreen Patties
    -Necco Candy Eggs
    -Necco Talking Pumpkins (available at Halloween only)
    -Necco Squirrel Nut Caramels and Squirrel Nut Zippers
    -Necco Banana Split and Mint Julep Chews
    -Necco Ultramints
    -Nestle Milk Chocolate fun size bars
    -Nestle Baby Ruth
    -Nestle Bit–O–Honey
    -Nestle Butterfinger (NOT Butterfinger Crisp or Butterfinger Stixx)
    -Nestle Goobers – does contain peanuts
    -Nestle Nips (both regular and sugar–free)
    -Nestle Oh Henry!
    -Nestle Raisinets – made on equipment that processes peanuts
    -Nestle Sno–Caps
    -Nestle Wonka Pixy Stix
    -Nestle Wonka Laffy Taffy
    -Nestle Wonka Lik–M–Aid Fun Dip
    -Nestle Wonka Spree
    -Nik-L-Nip wax bottles with juice
    -Now and Later
  • O
  • -Oh Henry!
    -Operation Gummy Candy
  • P
  • -Palmer Peanut Butter Cups – does contain peanuts
    -Pay Day peanut caramel bar snack size
    -Peanut M&M’s
    -Pearson’s Bun candy – maple and roasted peanuts
    -Pearson’s Mint Patties,
    -Pearson’s Nut Goodies
    -Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls
    -Peeps Jack–o–lanterns, Ghosts, Peeps Pumpkins and Chocolate Mousse Cats – “Gluten Free”
    -Pez candy – “Gluten Free”
    -Pop Rocks
    -Popcorn Expressions Kettle Corn Snack BagsNo good candy
    -Pixie Stix
    -Pure Fun Halloween Pure Pops
  • R
  • -Rain Blo Bubble Gum Eyes of Terror
    -Raisinets
    -Razzles candy gum
    -Red Hots
    -Reese’s Fast Break candy bars and snack size
    -Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups snack size and miniatures
    -Reese’s Pieces
    -Reese’s Select Peanut Butter Cremes
    -Reese’s Select Clusters
    -Reese’s Whipps
    -Riviera Spooky Candy Rings
    -Rolo chocolate covered caramels
  • S
  • -Sidewalk Chalk
    -Sixlets
    -Skeleton Pops (lollipops)
    -Skittles includes Original, Sour, Wild Berry, Fizzl’d Fruits, and Crazy Core, including fun-size
    -Smarties – (the small pastel–colored candies sold in rolls and made by Ce De). Also Candy Money, Candy Necklace, Easter Smarties, Giant Smarties, Giant Smarties Pops, Love Hearts, Mega Smarties, Smarties in a Pouch, Tropical Smarties, Smarties Double Lollies, Smarties Mega Lollies, Smarties Parties, Smarties Pops, and X-TREME Sour Smarties. Manufacturer states: These products contains NO: gluten, milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, or soy. (US only, NOT gluten-free in Canada).
    -Snickers
    -Snickers Fudge bar
    -Sno-Caps
    -Sno-Cone
    -Soda Pop
    -Sour Patch
    -Spooky Candy Rings (eyeballs, Frankenstein heads and other shapes on rings)
    -Starburst Fruit Chews and fun-size
    -Starburst Gummibursts and Sour Gummibursts
    -Sugar Babies
    -Sugar Daddy Caramel Pops
    -Super Bubble bubble gum
    -Surf Sweets Gummy Worms
    -Surf Sweets Gummy Swirls
    -Surf Sweets Gummy Bears
    -Surf SweetsFruity Bears
    -Surf Sweets Jelly Beans
    -Surf Sweets Sour Worms
    -Surf Sweets Sour Berry Bears
    -Swedish Fish
    -Sweethearts conversation hearts Forbidden Fruits (candy packaging of The Twilight -Saga, New Moon the movie)
    -Sweet’s Candy Corn Taffy
  • T
  • -Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops
    -Tootsie Pops – original and mini
    -Tootsie Rolls Midgies and snack bars
    -Transformers Canpeasron’s salted nut rolldy Mix – gummy shields, fruit chews, candy shields, gum rocks
    -Twist and Glow, Twist and Glow Heart, Twist and Glow Pumpkin
  • W
  • -Warheads – Extreme Sour hard candy and Sour QBZ chewy cubes
    -Wonka Bottlecaps
    -Wonka Chocolate Laffy Taffy
    -Wonka Giant Chewy Nerds Jelly Beans
    -Wonka Giant Pixy Stix
    -Wonka Gobstopper Everlasting
    -Wonka Gobstopper Chewy
    -Wonka Fruit Tart Chews
    -Wonka Fun Dip and Fun Dip Sour
    -Wonka Laffy Taffy Ropes
    -Wonka Mix–Ups
    -Wonka Monster Mix–Ups – SweetTarts Skulls and Bones, Spooky Nerds, Howlin’ Laffy Taffy
    -Wonka Nerds – carry a cross contamination warning on the Spooky Nerds orange and fruit punch flavors
    -Wonka Pixy Stix
    -Wrigley’s Gum
  • X
  • -X–scream Mouth Morphers Fruit Gushers
  • Y
  • -York Peppermint Patties Pumpkins, York Peppermint Patties, York Peppermint Patties Jr’s
  • Z
  • -Zed Candy Skulls and Bones

Wrap up – New Jersey’s Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

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Here’s our wrap up of 2014’s GFAF Expo in Secaucus, NJ. This year’s Expo did not disappoint! Nearly 150 different exhibit tables with food vendors, medical experts, writers, expert presenters… you name it! The Expo floor was a buzz with THOUSANDS of visitors over the two days. We met with so many great people, some old friends we made at last year’s event and many new vendors and followers of our website!

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To try and recap everything we did is nearly impossible. There’s just too much to write about. So we’ve decided to write about our top five picks of the Expo. While we were amazed by the enormity of this event, these five vendors stood out in our eyes and the “Best in Show” for various reasons. While our focus was primarily on gluten free offerings, many of these vendors focused heavily on dairy free, nut free, and soy free as well… just to name a few!

This was our second Expo in as many years. I cannot express to you enough the importance of educating yourself as to what is available in the market place. This Expo is a great opportunity to see whats new… and to try it! I can’t tell you how much money we wasted our first year buying gluten free products for Giulia. We threw a lot of it away. Thousands of dollars wasted because she didn’t like the way it tasted! Now, I contribute some of that to her transition from a gluten world to being 100% gluten free. I get that. But, some of the products we tried in the past were down right awful! What an awesome concept to have the ability to try products BEFORE buying them! The concept of the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo is brilliant in that sense. Now, granted there are a lot of gluten free bakeries at these events, and you really must be careful about trying to replace all gluten products with highly processed gluten free food for fear of other medical conditions because of increased sugar intake. But there is a time and place for these products. We believe everything in moderation is OK. Kids like cake! My point here is there are many other products that are showcased at this Expo; seasonings and sauces, beverages and sports drinks, nutritional supplements, make-up, etc. It’s worth it to attend, trust me.

Now, these five top picks are the products/vendors that most impressed us over our two days at the Expo. We’re passing them on to you because we feel they are great products, not just because Lisa and I loved them, but more importantly 11 year old Giulia loved them as well. So lets get to it! Here’s our top five picks of GFAF Expo 2014 (in no particular order):

IMG_4274SUPERSEEDZ Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds are a no shell, dry roasted, and all natural snack in a bag. These things are amazing and come in several flavors. All of the seasoning used is gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free, egg free, dairy free, fish free, shellfish free and soy free. Each bag contains five servings with 9 grams of protein and several other key nutrients like zink and iron in each serving. We bought several bags to take home with us, including the Tomato Italiano, Super Spicy, Sea Salt, and Coco Joe. SUPERSEEDZ is located in North Haven, CT and you can see which stores are carrying their products here or order directly from their website.

IMG_4272San-J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce is naturally brewed with 100% soybeans and no wheat. No artificial preservatives or MSG are added. San-J Tamari is certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, certified kosher by Orthodox Union and is Non-GMO Project verified. Their product line also includes several Asian cooking sauces and salad dressings as well as brown rice crackers and soups. Have you found a gluten free Chinese food restaurant that delivers? Well we haven’t! We started using these sauces with our homemade stir fry dinners and they are amazing! This product is widely available in food stores… get creative and try some! You won’t be disappointed!

DF Mavenslogo “The finest dairy-free ice cream in the world!”. They are not kidding! Do you remember the scene in the Pixar movie “Ratatouille” where the food critic drops his pen and goes into a jaw dropping trance, reminiscing of his childhood in his mothers kitchen, after tasting the ratatouille for the first time? Yeah… it’s like that. DF Mavens has hit a home run here! Choose between ice cream made from almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. Oh, and a sugar free offering as well! We tried all of the flavors, one better than the other. I swear to you, at one point Lisa and I stood staring at each other, absolutely speechless! Is it possible that almond milk ice cream is actually superior to actual ice cream?!? I know what I think so you be the judge! DF Mavens is located in New York City and is available at several locations in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. They will also ship it to you directly from their website! DF Mavens is gluten free, dairy free, has no preservatives or cholesterol, and is Kosher.

IMG_4263Way Better Snacks are sprouted chips made from several sources based on the style you like. A full list of their ingredients, including non-GMO corn, is available on their website. We think these are the greatest tasting gluten free chips, hands down. They are available in many food store chains across the country. We happen to buy them at our local Wegmans Food Market. IMG_4269The reason we picked them in our top five is simple. They brought with them two new flavors in their arsenal: Sriracha and Mustard/Onion. Giulia’s favorite has always been the Sweet Chili chips, but when she tried the Sriracha, she started to dance. No kidding! Dancing in the middle of the aisle humming “Mm Hmmmmm, Mm Hmmmmm!”. The chips are really good. We haven’t seen the Sriracha flavor in our store yet, but you can be sure they will be put in the shopping cart when they arrive!

IMG_4267Ian’s Natural Foods, allergy friendly and gluten free. First of all, their website is loaded with information about their products. Extensive! Second, their food is really good! One of Giulia’s favorite foods was onion rings and we could never find a suitable gluten free replacement, until we tried Ian’s Gluten Free Onion Rings! Wow! Crispy, not oily at all. Then we tried their new Italian style croutons. Amazing! Ian’s is a great company that offers a full line of food products that are allergen friendly and are really good!

There you have it! Now go find them and try them. But most importantly, if you have the opportunity to attend the GFAF Expo in a city near you, you have to go. You have know idea what our missing! And, uh, in case it matters to you, the opinions above are ours and ours alone. We like to share things with our gluten free community that we are excited about, especially when it comes to food. Food in a big part of our culture. Now that were gluten free, it’s nice to share when we find a winner in our book. Enjoy!

Final Days: 20% Off Tickets To The NJ Gluten & Allergen Free Expo This Weekend

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Just two days left to get 20% off tickets to the Expo this weekend in Secaucus, NJ. Click on the link to the right for your opportunity to receive a discount from Gluten Free Digest! Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet lots of people from our gluten free community, meet over 150 vendors and try some really great gluten free food, and get educated by some of the best in the industry! Hope to se you there! Look for us wearing our signature black t-shirts with our logo on the front!

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Update: Gluten & Allergen Free Expo Giveaway

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Thanks so much to everyone who contacted us about our free ticket giveaway… WE HAVE OUR WINNERS!

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

But, we’re not done yet! If you’re still interested in going to the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Secaucus, NJ on September 6th and 7th, the Gluten Free Marketing Group has graciously offered a 20% discount on ticket prices for all of our followers when you purchase your tickets here! Just click the link to the right and your discount will be applied automatically to the adult and child ticket prices! Oh, and children under the age of 3 are free!!

Remember, this Expo is the premier gluten and allergen free event in the US and only happens once a year in our area. Don’t miss this great experience! There will be vendors sampling and selling products, a dedicated peanut/nut-free section and free lifestyle classes! Here’s a list of what you can expect:

  • Entry into the 150+ booth vendor fair
  • Valuable coupons at the vendor booths
  • Samples from the vendors
  • Discounted products available for purchase
  • Informative classes related to the gluten and allergen-free lifestyle
  • Free reusable bag to carry your goodies
  • Meet your favorite vendors, authors and bloggers

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Hope to see you there! Look for us wearing our signature black t-shirt with our logo on the front. Make sure you stop us to say hi… we’d love to meet you!

Free Ticket Giveaway! Join us at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Secaucus, NJ!

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Are you gluten intolerant? Have you been diagnosed with Celiac disease? Then you know first hand how difficult it can be to find quality gluten free food and products! Well, our friends at the Gluten Free Marketing Group have the answer! The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo is the place to be to find, taste, and try all of the latest product on the market. Whether you’re looking to find a better box of gluten free cereal (but are afraid to spend the $$$ on something you’ll end up tossing in the trash) or needing an allergy friendly make-up line to try, the Expo is the place to be!

The GFAF Expos are the largest and fastest growing special diet consumer events in the US. Started in 2007, the events are professionally managed and have expanded from one to seven cities throughout the United States. In addition to meeting the needs of the Celiac community, the Expo welcomes those with gluten sensitivities, auto-immune/inflammatory diseases and autism.

Our first experience at the Expo was last year. Giulia had been living with Celiac diseaseIMG_2693 for just over a year and Lisa and I were new bloggers and eager to get more information out to our followers. We didn’t realize how big of an opportunity this was going to be! Not only did we get to try a TON of gluten free foods, but we met a lot of really cool people and learned about what it really takes to lead a gluten free lifestyle. You can read last year’s blog post here. There is a huge gluten free community out there… and to see a large part of it gathered in one place for one purpose is an awesome thing! Giulia saw first hand that she’s not alone!

This year’s Expo is going to be packed with lots to see with over 150 vendors in attendance! In addition, the Expo provides you with a great opportunity to learn by attending classes on topics like the new FODMAP diet, understanding gluten sensitivity, or cooking and baking tips from some of the nation’s top gluten free chefs! Click here to see a list of all the presenters at the Expo. Also, there will be a ton of free giveaways to take home as well… you will not be disappointed!

Image 2So, why don’t you join us! Gluten Free Digest has been accepted as part of the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo’s official blogger team again this year! To celebrate, we’re giving away four FREE tickets to the Expo in Secaucus, New Jersey on September 6th and 7th, 2014. The tickets will be split into pairs and can be used on either Saturday or Sunday… your choice! We’ll make this easy… the first two people to email us will win! Just be sure to include you full name in the email. Just fill out this form below to enter:  

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So if your going to the Expo, please look for us wearing our signature black t-shirts with our logo on the front. Make sure you stop us to say hi… we’d love to meet you! If your unable to attend the Expo, please be sure to follow us on Twitter and on Facebook. We will be doing live updates as we walk the Expo floor! Hope to see you there!

Product Review and Giveaway: Luminance Skincare

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Every once in a while we have the pleasure of reviewing products and sharing our thoughts with you on our blog. Up until now, all of our reviews have been based on gluten free foods. Recently, we were contacted by Elena Saxton at Luminance Skincare and asked if we would review their skincare products. We happily accepted the opportunity!

So here’s a little history about this small company. Luminance Skincare is located in Benicia, California, a little bay town just east of San Francisco. The companies founder, Kim Emanual, was working as an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley when his wife became allergic to everything containing synthetic fragrance. She couldn’t use soaps, hair sprays, perfumes, laundry detergents and the like without getting sick. When they looked for products without synthetic fragrances they found that even “unscented” products use a synthetic masking scent to disguise the unpleasant odor of the synthetic ingredients. After researching all of this, Kim decided to try making some of these products himself in their home. Now, ten years later, his company is booming with successful products!

 

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…the product line includes deeply moisturizing handmade soaps and skin care products that are both organic and raw. Without anything synthetic. Toxic. Or harmful in any way. Every product is formulated and handmade by Kim with an extremely high level of precision, sophistication, care and craftsmanship.

When you visit their website, you’ll find a very simple and easy to navigate venue featuring all of their products. Click on a product and you’ll find information about each including the all natural ingredients used to make them! Very transparent! In fact, Kim’s phone number and email address is plastered all over the site so you can contact them with any questions or concerns you may have! I speak from experience… they are very kind and are willing to take the time to discuss anything about their products.

A few days after speaking with Elena about our review, we received a huge box of products to try! It was a very generous offering and we were very excited to get started! Soaps, lotions, lip balm… the works! All of it gluten free!! This was a big concern for us because it’s hard to find products that are safe for Giulia. She was so excited to find that she could use everything sent to us!

We’ve been using the products over the last month and have been very happy with the results! In general the lotions absorb very nicely, leaving your skin feeling soft. The lotions have a bit of an “organic” smell when your applying it but it quickly dissipates as it absorbs. The soaps are incredibly fragrant and lather up really nice. Everything seems to work on your skin as described on their website. Some of our favorites are the Tangerine and Meyer lemon lip balm, the Fresh Tangerine soap, the Delicate Cleanser and Rosewater Toner, and the Men’s Aftershave cream. All in all, Luminance Skincare has a lot really great products and we would recommend it to anyone who’s looking to find a “clean” skincare product line.

You can purchase all of Luminance Skincare’s products directly from their website, and shipping is free for orders over $50.00. Plus, Kim and Elena are graciously offering a 20% DISCOUNT to all of our followers when you place an order! Just reference GFDIGEST in the discount code box at the end of your order. Oh, and one more thing…

LUMINANCE SKINCARE GIVEAWAY

First Place: Win $150 Worth Of Organic Skincare Products!
Second Place: Win $100 Worth Of Organic Skincare Products!
Third Place: Win $50 Worth Of Organic Skincare Products!

You can enter to win one of these three prizes at Luminance Skincare. Hurry! Time’s running out… offer ends on Tuesday, August 5th 2014!

Celiabetes! Living with Celiac disease and diabetes… Michael DiFiore shares his story.

As if one’s not enough! My mother has Celiac disease. My father has diabetes. Both of these autoimmune diseases in one household seems like enough of a challenge, right? Imagine dealing with both autoimmune diseases yourself! My mom sent me this web article from Medtronic, a diabetic supply company that had recently posted this story in their newsletter. We thought it was important to share. Just goes to show you that you never know what cards you will be dealt in life. The important lesson here is that nothing in life is too big or problematic to handle when you stay positive and stay on track. Michael is a great example of that.

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We originally ran this story in 2011, the first year of News to Infuse, and it was a popular story amongst our readers at that time. Three years later, we have many more readers, so we wanted to share Michael’s story again for our newer readers or those who may have missed it the first time around. Enjoy!

 

Michael DiFiore, who is living with type 1 diabetes and celiac, an autoimmune disease thatnti-jun-article3-img1 affects the digestive system. According to the JDRF, he’s not alone: 1 in 10 people with type 1 diabetes also have celiac. (In the general population, approximately 1 in 100 people have celiac.) Thanks Michael for sharing your story and tips for others managing both conditions.

 

The year was 1989. I was 5. That year George H.W. Bush would become the 41st president, the Berlin wall would fall, the A’s would sweep the Giants in 4, cell phones were the size of bricks, and I would be diagnosed with Diabetes. Needless to say, this was a life altering event of epic proportions. As awful as this felt, in hindsight it wasn’t the worst thing to happen to me. No, the worst was also being diagnosed with Celiac only a year or two later.

 

Even back in those days, Diabetes was easy to diagnose. But Celiac, even today, often goes under the radar. Similar to my diabetes, my parents knew something was wrong with me. I was ravenously hungry and despite eating everything in sight I still looked like I was starving and malnourished.

 

Then the tests started. I felt like I was on the show medical mysteries with everything I had to go through. Other than the massive horse-pill that I had to take because they thought I was lactose intolerant, my favorite had to be the radioactive milkshake – yummy! Eventually a biopsy was done, and thanks to my completely smooth small intestine (which is not the way it is supposed to look), they realized the culprit. Today you can start with a simple blood test.

 

While I had it bad, I can’t even imagine what my parents were going through with first the Diabetes and then the Celiac diagnosis. I can’t even imagine what it was like for my mom to tell me, a seven year old boy, that I could no longer eat Lucky Charms if my blood sugar was low (thank goodness for Fruity Pebbles!). You see, Celiac is an autoimmune disease that affects the digestive system and causes the body to react to gluten, a protein found in all forms of wheat, rye and barley.

 

Today many of us take for granted the ability to go to a local grocery store and find a gluten free section or packaging marked gluten free, or allergy information at the bottom of a label. Back then, none of these conveniences existed. To get any specialized gluten free foods my parents either had to make it or mail-order it from across the country.

 

Of course eating out was another huge challenge in its own right. This reminds me of when we went to McDonald’s and ordered my burgers without a bun and the person working the drive-through asked my mom, “Is this for your dog? We have a woman that comes in and does the same thing for her dogs.” To which my mom responded, “Umm, no. This is for my son who is allergic to bread.”

 

Needless to say, just like with Diabetes, we’ve come a long way since those days. Still, having both Diabetes and Celiac is a total pain. But, if you’re celiabetic (what I like to call myself), here are a few tips from me to you about how to get through it.

 

1) Do right. I don’t think my life has ever been more difficult because I did the right thing. Of course there are those times of temptation – perhaps I didn’t give myself insulin as soon as I should have or I knowingly let some gluten slip into my diet. The effect of not doing right in these situations is not worth the high BG all day or night or side effects of the gluten.

 

2) Own your celiabetes, don’t let it own you. Life isn’t easy. In fact, life can be downright tough, ugly, cruel and unfair. We didn’t ask to have celiabetes, but that doesn’t mean we have to be victims. We are who we are and we have to make the best of what we have been given. Don’t give up.

 

3) Bad things happen, but keep a positive mental attitude, learn from your mistakes, and don’t look back. Enough said.

 

4) Live your life. Follow my lines of advice above and this will be easy. There’s no good reason having celiabetes should hold you back from living your dreams. For me, as much as I would like a cure for both diabetes and celiac (and be able to eat a big bowl of Lucky Charms whenever I wanted to again), I know things are getting better for both – from my insulin pump and CGM for my diabetes to the gluten-free section in grocery stores. I also know that they have both made me a better person, from growing up with responsibility to eating healthier foods.